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Good Strife and Bad Peace

July 23, 2018
By Martin Luther

O God, save me by Your name, and vindicate me by Your might.

PSALM 54:1

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Good Strife and Bad Peace

Christ gained the upper hand over the devil and the yoke of his burden, not with bustle and worldly power but in the name of the Lord, so that, as in the case of Midian, the demons would kill and destroy themselves (Isaiah 9:4), for He sent a sword on earth and came to set a man against his father (Matthew 10:34-35). And so good strife comes in order that a bad peace may be disrupted. This is what the prophet has in mind when he says (Isaiah 9:4): "Thou hast overcome the yoke of his burden, as in the day of Midian," for there the enemies were slain without the sword and the shedding of blood, simply by the sound of the trumpets (Judges 7:22). And the reason is: "Unto us a Child is born" (Isaiah 9:6). This is "humility," namely, in the name of the Lord. We must not attempt to be saved by our own powers or by the world's resources, but in humility, that is, in the name of the Lord, being fully aware of the fact that we possess absolutely nothing of salvation in ourselves, so that we may not trust in our bow, and our sword will not save us.

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 54 (Luther's Works 10:250)

July 23

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